Liveblogging Wright at the National Press Club: The "black church" is under "attack;" "I am open to being vice president;" defends his AIDS conspiracy-theorizing, "God damns," "Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy;" don't be dissin' my mama or my faith
Scroll down for liveblogging of Wright’s NPC rant (update: here is the full transcript, but you really had to see it to absorb the full, nasty experience). Is he working for the Hillary campaign? Is he angry at Barack Obama? Because he has got to know this is killing his spiritual protege’s campaign.
9:08am. He just got a massive standing ovation from the crowd, including many journalists sitting at the head table. The title of his address is “The African American Religious Experience; Theology & Practice.”
Wright asserts that the criticism leveled against his diatribes are an “attack on the black church.” Not an attack on “Jeremiah Wright, but an attack on the black church.”
Got that? Challenging “God damn America” = attacking the black church.
He credits Obama for starting the “dialogue.” Obama’s wishing Wright would clam up right about now.
9:15am. Wright launches into a review of black liberation theology. “I do not in any way disagree with James Cone. Jim is a personal friend of mine.”
Kathy Shaidle summarizes Cone’s racist ideology:
The leading theorist of Black Liberation Theology is James Cone. Overtly racist, Cone’s writings posit a black Jesus who leads African-Americans as the “chosen people.” In Cone’s cosmology, whites are “the devil,” and “all white men are responsible for white oppression.” Cone makes this point without ambiguity: “This country was founded for whites and everything that has happened in it has emerged from the white perspective,” Cone has written. “What we need is the destruction of whiteness, which is the source of human misery in the world.”
If whiteness stands for all that is evil, blackness symbolizes all that is good. “Black theology,” says Cone, “refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.” Small wonder that some critics have condemned black liberation theology as “racist idolatry” and “Afro-Nazism.”
Furthermore, according to Cone, “black values” are superior to American values. Sure enough, the “About Us” statement on Trinity’s web page includes the following Cone-inspired declaration: “We are an African people, and remain ‘true to our native land,’ the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.”
It is troubling that Barack Obama’s closest friends and allies subscribe to an explicitly racist doctrine. Even more worrying is that the main exponent of Black Liberation Theology sees Obama as a kindred spirit. In the wake of the controversy surrounding Obama’s pastor and Church, Cone said: “I’ve read both of Barack Obama’s books, and I heard the speech [on race]. I don’t see anything in the books or in the speech that contradicts black liberation theology.”
9:19am Eastern. Wright repeats his “Different is not deficient” lines from last night’s NAACP banquet.
“Black preaching is not bombastic, it is not controversial, it is just different.”
Wright pauses to note that working journalists in the crowd clapped along with the rest of the audience.
9:23am Eastern. Wright’s church, he brags, stood with the peasants in El Salvador when the U.S. was killing them.
His voice is rising. His church feeds people while our government fights an unjust war.
He excoriates people in government who have “abused their privileges to avoid military service…”
“…while sending 4,000 American boys and girls of every race to die over a lie.”
He mentions his church caring for blacks with AIDS…but refrains from peddling his AIDS conspiracy theories.
Code. He doesn’t need to say it. They already know what he means.
9:31am Eastern. He just delivered a line about whites worshipping on Sunday, then donning KKK robes and killing blacks on Monday morning.
More slave talk, prophetic black lib talk. He wraps up and gets another huge standing o from the audience and from the journalist panel members.
The NPC lady wants to clarify that the applause doesn’t necessarily come from journalists.
Q&A. First question is about “chickens coming home to roost” sermon. Wright retorts: “Have you heard the whole sermon?” Cites the Bible. Do unto others. Applause.
Next question on Wright’s patriotism. Wright mentions his Army service of six years. “How many years did Cheney serve?”
Struts around? Mocks a salute. Encourages audience to applaud.
NPC lady asks crowd to limit applause.
Next question asks why Wright is speaking up despite Obama’s distancing himself.
Wright gets his dander up.
Paraphrasing: “I will still be a pastor on Nov. 5. We have a game in our community called playing the dozens. Can’t insult my mama. Can’t insult his black liberation theology and his church. “If you think you can, you got another thing coming.”
“Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He didn’t enslave me. He didn’t put me in chains. And he didn’t make me this color.”
Next question about Obama having to speak as a politician. “Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on the polls. Preachers have a different person to whom they are accountable. I do what pastors do. He does what politicians do. I am not running for president.”
Jibes: I am open to being vice president.”
Audience hoots and applauds.
9:42am. “God damns some practices.”
“I’m not going to forgive you for stepping on my foot if you’re still stepping on my foot.”
Snarks to the NPC lady: “Understand? Capiche?”
Question again on Obama distancing himself and not inviting Wright to give invocation last year at presidential announcement: “He didn’t distance himself from me. He distanced himself from some of my remarks which he didn’t hear.”
If Obama didn’t hear your sermons, does that mean he’s not much of a churchgoer?
Wright: “That means he goes to church about as much as you do! What did your pastor preach about this week?”
Some applause, some boos.
9:46am Eastern. Question about conspiracies.
Wright defends his AIDS conspiracies. “I believe our government is capable of doing anything.”
9:48am. Can you explain your analogy of Roman soldiers who killed Jesus and the Marine Corps?
Cites imperialism in Luke. Yes, I can compare that.
9:53am Eastern. “Question: Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the light. Is Islam the way to salvation?”
Wright: Jesus also said “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.”
Question: Would people of other races be welcome at your church?
“Yes…a white woman stood up at our church and said “I am unashamedly African.”
The media was making a fool of itself. Had to wait and let themselves.
“You talkin’ ’bout my mama, you talkin’ ’bout my faith tradition.”
Ends again with his new rhetorical device that the attacks on him are attacks on the black church.
Do you think it is God’s will that Sen. Obama be president?
“I cannot presume to know what God would want…what God has for you is for you.”
9:57am Eastern. Wright gets a centennial mug.
Last question: NPC’er cites joke from Chris Rock that all 75-year-old black men are angry. Is that true?
Wright: “I think that’s just like the media. I’m not 75.”
A piece of work, this guy. A rude, racist, self-righteous piece of work.
Update: Security for Rev. Wright provided by…the Nation of Islam.
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